This I Believe

Samuel - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe Essay

The Phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” is a very common one. I follow it in a sense. I found this phrase to be more successful after I put a spin on it. I changed it to “If at first you don’t succeed, try again differently”. I found that looking at things from a different angle makes things a lot easier.

Practically my whole life (up until 7th grade) I played baseball. Every team I played on had a successful season, except one. The 2004 Oakland Athletics was the team, composed of 3rd and 4th graders. We absolutely stunk, and half the kids on the team had never even played ball before. One of those kids who had never played was named Grant. Grant was a short kid with nothing but a glove and a smile. ON the first day of practice coach had the team circle up and asked each one of us “What do you want to accomplish this season?” Grant’s immediate answer was “To hit a home run.” Throughout the season our team lost and lost, and grant continued to be unsatisfied with all the balls he hit (for they weren’t over the fence.)

Then came along the game that determined whether or not our team would go the playoffs, we had not won a single game that season. By some miracle, we were tied with the other team in the bottom of the fifth inning. “Grant on deck, Sam in the hole!” coach yelled. As we were warming up Grant turned and said to me, “I’m gonna hit a home run.” To which I replied, “Yeah right, if you do I’ll give you a dollar.” As soon as he is up Grant hits a solid ground ball to right center field on the first pitch. He rounds first, then second, and is going to third, but the ball is catching up to him. Instead of sliding, he rounds third, taking everyone by surprise. The third baseman misses the catch he should have made, and grant makes it home safe. Everyone on the bench is in awe. No one on the team had ever hit a home run before. As he walks by me he says, “Hey, you owe me a dollar.” For the rest of the game he had a smile from ear to ear, we went on to win that game, the only game we ever won that season.

That day I lost 1 dollar, gained a memory and a new saying. That day, Grant gained a new memory, a new way to looking at problems, a home run, bragging rights, and 4 air heads (from the dollar he won.)Instead of becoming more and more frustrated because he didn’t hit a home run, Grant looked for a different way to accomplish his goal. I believe that we should all be like Grant and when we fail, try doing it differently.